There are 499 classes from 110 schools around the country taking part in the five-week programme, which gets underway next week, and an amazing 16 classes at Beach Haven Primary School have signed up to the Challenge.
Launched by AIA New Zealand on 18 August, the programme is also being supported by hockey player Gemma Flynn and international rugby winger Cory Jane.
“I’m excited to be part of this awesome health and wellbeing programme,” says Tom. “The AIA Healthy Kids Challenge encourages children, their families and friends to get active together. It’s about having fun, getting healthy and fit, and learning, all at the same time.”
AIA New Zealand Head of Marketing and Communications, David Savidan, says: “We want to encourage Kiwi primary school kids and their families to improve their general health and wellness. The AIA Healthy Kids Challenge harnesses digital technology, which is often seen as a barrier to a healthy lifestyle.”
AIA’s recent Healthy Living Index concluded that unless there is a concerted effort by parents and schools to promote exercise and restrict screen time, there will be significant challenges to the younger generation leading healthier lives.
“The AIA Healthy Kids Challenge is part of our aim to improve health outcomes for every Kiwi, and what better place to start than with our kids,” says Mr Savidan.
The health and wellbeing initiative cleverly combines technology and leading New Zealand athletes to inspire, motivate and educate primary school children and their parents to lead healthier lives.
As part of the AIA Healthy Kids Challenge, each child receives a free pedometer to count the number of steps they take every day; each child also gets to create their own unique avatar. The programme records each class’s daily average steps, giving them the opportunity to win prizes, including AIA sports grants and Huawei Tablets for their school.
The children’s journey will be captured in a virtual online world showing the progress of their avatars as they work together to unlock new destinations. As children complete each leg, they’re shown an animated video of their avatar exploring each new place with New Zealand sporting stars Tom, Gemma and Cory. They learn about the history and culture of the countries they ‘visit’, and get health tips on the way around.
Parents can get involved in the AIA Healthy Kids Challenge and get active as a family.
While class registrations for kids have now been closed for this year’s AIA Healthy Kids Challenge due to the overwhelming response from teachers, there are still plenty of free places available for parents, friends and family members to join the Challenge.
Parents, friends and family can use the website or download the challenge app to track their own steps. The more adults each participating class has involved, the more chances the class and school have to win great prizes, and there are opportunities for parents who get involved to win prizes too.
And anyone can support their local primary school and help them to win prizes. It’s easy to participate and have fun getting active in the lead up to summer.
Simply visit www.healthykids.kiwi to register. The 2016 programme gets underway on 26 October 2016.